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November is National Family Caregivers Month for Alzheimer caregivers

Lexington, SC - Many Lexington County families are dealing with the devastating effects of Alzheimer. This disease has no boundaries and can take some of the most vibrant and brightest of our family members and ravage their minds and bodies. It is also a huge challenge for family members who are tasked with caring for the love one who is struggle with Alzheimer's impact.

November is National Family Caregivers Month, and the Alzheimer’s Association is encouraging community members to check in on family members and friends who are serving as Alzheimer’s caregivers. In South Carolina alone, over 318,000 citizens help to provide unpaid care for someone with dementia, a responsibility that can be extremely isolating.

“Many Alzheimer’s and dementia caregivers report feeling alone, and the COVID pandemic is only increasing that sense of isolation,” said Cindy Alewine, President of the Alzheimer’s Association, South Carolina Chapter. “This November, take some time to check in on the caregivers in your circle. A phone call, a note or even a text can make a big difference in a caregiver’s day and help them feel supported.”

Providing help and support to a caregiver can be easier than most people may think. The Alzheimer’s Association offers these suggestions:

· Tackle the to-do list: Ask for a list of errands that need to be run – such as picking up groceries or prescriptions. Offer to do yard work or other household chores. It can be hard for a caregiver to find time to complete these simple tasks that we often take for granted.

· Be specific and be flexible: Open-ended offers of support (“call me if you need anything”) are often dismissed. Be specific in your offer (“I’m going to the store, what do you need?”). Continue to let the caregiver know that you are there and ready to help.

· Give caregivers a break: Consider having one family member who can be an official helper for a loved one with dementia to give the primary caregiver an hour to relax. This should be someone who practices social distancing on a regular basis and is able to commit fully to necessary safety precautions. Check the CDC website——for COVID19 guidelines on visits with individuals deemed higher risk/vulnerable.

· Be a resource-gatherer: Those who provide care around the clock often lack the time or the energy to seek caregiving information and resources. Take time to attend an online class, like the Association’s “Living with Alzheimer’s for Care Partners” series, which shares information and tips for facing each stage of the disease. Additionally, find out how to apply for South Carolina’s Alzheimer’s Caregiver Respite Program, which provides short-term financial assistance for caregivers to utilize paid caregiving assistance. Learn more or register for an upcoming program at

As COVID-19 continues to alter daily life and threaten the health of community members, the Alzheimer’s Association conducts regular education and support programs virtually to ensure that dementia caregivers have reliable access to information, support and resources from the safety of home. In addition, the Association’s free 24/7 Helpline (800.272.3900) offers around-the-clock support for caregivers and families.

Walk to End Alzheimer’s was also adapted this year in response to the pandemic. Rather hosting a large in-person gathering, the Alzheimer’s Association encouraged participants to walk on sidewalks, tracks and trails wherever they chose. Donations are still being accepted at With the dollars raised, the Association will continue to provide care and support to families during these difficult times while also advancing critical research toward treatment and prevention of Alzheimer’s and all dementia.

More than 5 million Americans are living with Alzheimer's disease. Additionally, more than 16 million family members and friends provide unpaid care to people living with Alzheimer’s and other dementias. In South Carolina alone, there are more than 95,000 individuals living with the disease and 318,000 people providing care for them.


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